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Kanban

Kanban card

Kanban is a form of visual project management. It is popular with product, development and software development teams, but in principle can be used anywhere. Learn what Kanban is and how it works for your projects in this blog post.

What is Kanban

A Kanban board is a board organized by columns on which the work in the project is displayed. Each column represents a phase of work in the project. A simple Kanban Board in Merlin Project has the columns "Backlog", "In progress", "Verifying" and "Done". The tasks are displayed on the board using Kanban cards and you move them from one column to the next until they are done.

'Net Plan - Kanban Compact' view in Merlin Project

Kanban supports teams to bring the work to be done in line with the available capacities of each team member. Thus bottlenecks are avoided and all tasks are processed according to availability. With the Kanban method, continuous progress is achieved and work steps can be added to the workflow at any time from a list of outstanding tasks.

Is Kanban the Same as Scrum?

You may have heard of Kanban in the context of Scrum. Teams working with Scrum usually use Kanban boards with Kanban cards for this purpose. Scrum is a separate methodology, even though it is compatible with Kanban. While Kanban focuses on process improvement, Scrum is suitable for faster completion of team work. Through the use of so-called "sprints." These are two-week blocks of work with daily meetings and a fixed workload to be completed during this time cycle.

Is Kanban Agile?

Yes, Kanban for software development corresponds to a subset of Agile. Agile is a project management model designed to give teams more flexibility to better respond to change. It focuses on situational planning, evolutionary development, rapid deployment, and continuous improvement.

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How Do I Use Kanban?

You can use the Kanban method for various types of projects. The system is designed very open and has no too strict rules and principles, as you know it with Scrum, for example.

Kanban is popular not only because of this, but also because of the ease of implementation. For Kanban, you do not need to make any changes in Merlin Project. You simply switch to one of the Kanban views.

'Net Plan - Kanban' view

Kanban has benefits for the following teams:

  • Small teams: Working in small groups is usually very agile in itself. Therefore, it is advantageous here if you additionally integrate a Kanban board, because it brings more structure into the project.

  • Large teams: With larger teams it becomes difficult to introduce new and agile processes in larger projects. The simple implementation of a Kanban board will benefit you.

  • Individuals: Even as an individual, you increase your efficiency with the use of Kanban. In doing so, you do not invest more time, since Kanban is very quick to apply.

Conclusion

Kanban is a great and flexible way to keep the work and team capacities in your projects in balance. Use the project planning method of Kanban:

  • for an overview of your team's work.
  • as a form of visual project management. Kanban helps you gain insight into the work in the current project.
  • for more transparency, especially for location-independent teams. If your team is location-independent, it can be difficult to see who is doing what.
  • to centralize work and to reduce the number of tasks being worked on at any one time.
  • for a dynamic way of working with greater flexibility in your projects.

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